THE WOODLANDS, Texas—Chemical maker Huntsman Corp.'s Polyurethane Division has purchased a honeycomb composite spray molding machine to meet the light weight needs of the transportation market.
It is installing the production cell at its Auburn Hills, Mich., technical center. Cost of the cell was not disclosed.
The technical center had space to accommodate the new cell and did not need to be expanded, a company spokesman said.
Huntsman's new Hennecke HK metering machine, used for PUR composite spray molding, will allow the firm's customers in the Americas market to develop and prototype honeycomb panel composite spray moldings, which are most commonly used in the parcel tray, sun shade and cargo area load floors, the firm said.
The CSM machine is expected to be commissioned in late September. Development programs for customers are slated to begin in early October, Huntsman said.
“Installing the CSM work cell increases the wide range of quality composite solutions that Huntsman Polyurethanes can provide to the transportation market,” according to David Bareis, the company's market development manager for polyurethane composites.
In the past, customers served by Huntsman could not develop and prototype honeycomb composite spray moldings, the spokesman said. The new machine increases their capabilities, he added.
Bareis said the machine should help customers shorten the development cycle of products and allow businesses to conduct pilot scale production of parts and systems before going into full scale production.
Honeycomb composite panels are usually made for non-structural automotive applications using glass fiber with a paper honeycomb core, the company said.
Well established in Europe, it is growing rapidly in the Americas, said Randy Wellman, automotive business manager for Huntsman Polyurethanes.
“We intend to use this new equipment for the known industry applications, but we will also extend the technology with our Vitrox polyurethane and Araldite epoxy chemistries to advanced honeycomb structural components using carbon fiber and high performance honeycomb cores,” he said.